Racial Justice Summit 2021














This Is What Democracy Looks Like

We are at a transformational shift to a new era of gender equality in the United States, with feminist women holding some of the most consequential levers of power. 

Kamala Harris, a Black woman of South Asian descent, is the first woman vice president; for the first time in U.S. history, President Joe Biden has appointed equal numbers of women (now at 48%) to the Cabinet; and the House of Representatives is led by a feminist woman, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and feminists chair some of the most powerful committees including Rep. Maxine Waters of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Rosa DeLauro of the Appropriations Committee and Rep. Carolyn Maloney of the Oversight and Reform Committee. 

There’s no denying that 2021 is going to be an exciting, impactful and critically important year in the long struggle for gender equality.

We Are Heartbroken

NOW Mourns the Loss of Feminist Icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg

WASHINGTON, D.C. – There aren’t sufficient words to describe the depth of sorrow women are feeling at the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We are shattered.  We are broken.  We feel that we have lost more than a dear and admired friend. Our country has lost a feminist champion 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not only a historic Supreme Court Justice, but also a political and cultural icon for the ages, and a feminist legend. She fought for and protected women’s rights every single day.  

NOW recognizes all that she contributed to women and girls, to America, to our world, in terms of equality and possibilitiesNOW’s work is an extension of amazing leaders, amazing women, amazing sheroes, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. That she did her work in the face of sexism throughout her life, and while battling cancer in the last chapters of her life, speaks to the power of showing up, of enduring, of advocating no matter what. 

Justice Ginsburg’s spirit, her soul, and her power, will be with us forever. 

NOW Salutes the Historic Choice of Kamala Harris as the Democratic Nominee for Vice President

Joint Statement featuring NOW President Toni Van Pelt

August 11, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Kamala Harris is a feminist champion and is a bold, forward-thinking, progressive choice for vice president. The more women of color, like Senator Harris, that are in positions of power, making decisions – the better off women will be. NOW’s grassroots members are ready to make history – and we can’t wait to see the first woman and first person of color elected as Vice President of the United States.

Senator Harris knows first-hand the struggles women face and as Biden’s most trusted advisor – these issues will be top of mind when policies are made. Senator Harris is a fierce advocate of women’s access to reproductive health care She has called for a Department of Justice review of any state law that restricts a woman’s constitutional right to abortion. She will also stand up and address racial disparities in maternal health care. She has pledged to close the so-called “Boyfriend Loophole” that allows dating partners convicted of domestic violence to buy guns.

Senator Harris has proved throughout her career that she is dedicated to justice, equality, fairness and the rule of law. She prosecuted the case against Donald Trump in the Senate, on the campaign trail and in the media. As the vice-presidential nominee, she’ll peel off the bark and bluster of Donald Trump with surgical precision.

NOW is fired up and ready to go as we mobilize the largest feminist grassroots force in the nation to get out the vote in November. Kamala Harris is all in for women, and women are all in for Kamala Harris.

Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Rights In Louisiana – But We’ve Still Got Work To Do

Statement by National NOW President Toni Van Pelt

June 29, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Supreme Court’s decision today in June Medical Services v. Russo struck down a Louisiana law imposing targeted restrictions on abortion providers (TRAP laws) that the Court had previously found unconstitutional in Texas. TRAP laws are not designed to protect women’s health, but rather to expand the power of patriarchal church leaders and conservative Republicans and to dictate women’s most personal health decisions.

The court also declined to rule on third-party standing which means that abortion providers can continue to challenge law that restrict access on behalf of their patients which is a crucial win for abortion activists. The case was a challenge to a Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

As Justice Stephen Breyer noted in his majority opinion, this case was “almost word-for-word identical” to the law at issue in the Texas case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt, from 2016. In that case, the crucial fifth vote was cast by Justice Kennedy—but his replacement, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, voted to keep the restrictions on the books.

Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the majority in this case, but only because he agreed with Breyer that the issues had already been decided by the Court. He reiterated his opposition to the arguments made by the majority in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt. He doesn’t agree with Justice Breyer that the Texas and Louisiana laws “will continue to make it impossible for abortion providers to obtain conforming privileges for reasons that have nothing to do with the State’s asserted interests in promoting women’s health and safety.”

This means that with John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch on the Court, access to abortion care is still on the brink of repeal. NOW applauds today’s legal victory, but we have no illusions about the challenges women still face in defending their reproductive rights from activist judges and extremist politicians.

Today we celebrate, but tomorrow we march—and in November, we vote.

Justice for All

In this time of conflict and uncertainty Contra Costa NOW would like to express our support for the dismantling of institutional, cultural, and interpersonal racism that exists in our society.  We condemn the policies that allow our government agencies to target, discriminate, and enact violence against people of color and their supporters.  We mourn for the death of every person targeted by these shameful policies.  We encourage all of our members to renew their commitment to working toward a society which values peace, equality, and justice for all of its citizens.

NOW PAC Announces First Slate of 2020 Endorsements

April 23, 2020




WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Organization for Women Political Action Committee (NOW PAC) has announced its largest slate of endorsements at this stage of the election cycle, in preparation for its biggest financial investment in the organization’s history.

NOW PAC released its initial slate of endorsements, announcing support for 136 feminist candidates in 30 states to flip the Senate and keep the House. It includes seven Senate candidates hoping to join the Senate and nine Senate incumbents, as well as 23 House candidates looking to unseat incumbents or win an open seat, plus 99 House incumbents.

The political arm of NOW — funded entirely by NOW members — will focus its efforts on funding and mobilizing its grassroots members for Senate candidates in states that can flip the Senate to a pro-woman majority.

“It doesn’t matter who is in the White House if we don’t take the gavel from Senator Mitch McConnell and give it to someone who supports women,” said NOW PAC Chairwoman Toni Van Pelt. “For too long, an anti-women majority in the Senate has attacked our reproductive rights, our economic security, our safety and our dignity in this country.”

NOW PAC also highlights its “rebound candidates,” who are candidates that ran in 2018 and lost, but are back in 2020. We’ve already seen early success of these candidates in their second time around, such as Marie Newman (IL-03) who toppled an anti-choice Democratic incumbent in the Illinois primary.

Women voters and NOW members have always been a critical volunteer base to talk to women voters about the feminist issues at stake in elections from the bottom of the ballot to the top. The 2020 election results will depend on the turnout of women of all demographics and backgrounds.

Additionally, 80 percent of the NOW PAC endorsed candidates who are challenging an incumbent or vying for an open seat are women candidates.

Van Pelt said that the organization will soon launch its largest-ever digital organizing program to recruit members to volunteer for key target races, with a plan to unveil an Adopt a Senate Campaign program in the summer. This program was planned prior to COVID-19, but it creates a natural response to current physical distancing.

“NOW members have been mobilizing for candidates for years — or in many cases, decades — knocking doors and volunteering in campaign offices,” Van Pelt said. “In this new reality, we are prepared to shift our efforts into all of the remote opportunities available to reach voters and make a huge impact in November.”

The global pandemic has shown just how much the world relies on women’s labor in the workforce as health care workers, domestic workers, educators and service workers. It also has shown how much unpaid labor women provide as primary parents and as caretakers of family members.

As a result, COVID-19 has laid the case for NOW’s priority legislation and electing feminists who will pass them – such as raising the minimum wage for all workers, removing the artificial timeline on the Equal Rights Amendment, equal pay, paid sick leave, paid family leave, federal abortion protections and universal health care.

“We ask about these issues in our candidate interviews, so we know our endorsed slate will be a part of the new majority in Congress that will finally pass these priorities and build a safe, equal, and dignified United States for everyone in it,” Van Pelt said.

Senate Candidates to Flip the Senate
Teresa Tomlinson (Georgia)
Kimberly Graham (Iowa)
Sara Gideon (Maine)
Steve Bullock (Montana)
Abby Broyles (Oklahoma)
Jaime Harrison (South Carolina)

Open Seat
Rep. Ben Ray Luján (New Mexico)

Senate Incumbents
Senator Doug Jones (Alabama)
Senator Dick Durbin (Illinois)
Senator Gary Peters (Michigan)
Senator Tina Smith (Minnesota)
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire)
Senator Cory Booker (New Jersey)
Senator Jeff Merkley (Oregon)
Senator Jack Reed (Rhode Island)
Senator Mark Warner (Virginia)

House Challengers
Celeste Williams (AR-03)
Chris Bubser (CA-08)
Esmeralda Soria (CA-16)
Liam O’Mara (CA-42)
Diane Mitsch Bush (CO-03)*
Marie Newman (IL-03)*
Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (IL-13)*
Dani Brzozowski (IL-16)
Kara Eastman (NE-02)*
Nancy Goroff (NY-01)
Melanie D’Arrigo (NY-03)
Tedra Cobb (NY-21)*
Tracy Mitrano (NY-23)
Dana Balter (NY-24)*
Nate McMurray (NY-27)*
Vangie Williams (VA-01)*
Carolyn Long (WA-03)*

Open Seats
Christy Smith (CA-25)
Ammar Campa-Najjar (CA-50)*
Kathleen Williams (MT-AL)*
Kathy Manning (NC-06)
Jackie Gordon (NY-02)
Melissa Mark-Viverito (NY-15)

*Denotes a “rebound candidate”

House Incumbents
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02)
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03)
Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07)
Rep. John Garamendi (CA-03)
Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05)
Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-06)
Rep. Jerry McNerny (CA-09)
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA-12)
Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13)
Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14)
Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-18)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)
Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27)
Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-28)
Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-32)
Rep. Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37)
Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA-38)
Rep. Gil Cisneros (CA-39)
Rep Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40)
Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43)
Rep. Katie Porter (CA-45)
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)
Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49)
Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52)
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL)
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07)
Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09)
Rep. Val Demings (FL-10)
Rep. Lois Frankel (FL-21)
Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-22)
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)
Rep. Frederica Wilson (FL-24)
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26)
Rep. Donna Shalala (FL-27)
Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06)
Rep. Abby Finkenauer (IA-01)
Rep. Bobby Rush (IL-01)
Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02)
Rep. Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04)
Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05)
Rep. Sean Casten (IL-06)
Rep. Danny Davis (IL-07)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10)
Rep. Bill Foster (IL-11)
Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14)
Rep. Sharice Davids (KS-03)
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA-07)
Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-08)
Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI-13)
Rep. Angie Craig (MN-02)
Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03)
Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-04)
Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-05)
Rep. David Price (NC-04)
Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12)
Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-03)
Rep. Tom Malinowski (NJ-07)
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11)
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12)
Rep. Deb Haaland (NM-01)
Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02)
Rep. Dina Titus (NV-01)
Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03)
Rep. Steven Horsford (NV-04)
Rep. Kathleen Rice (NY-04)
Rep. Nydia Velázquez (NY-07)
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08)
Rep. Jerry Nadler (NY-10)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)
Rep. Eliot Engel (NY-16)
Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-19)
Rep. Anthony Brindisi (NY-22)
Rep. Kendra Horn (OK-05)
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Rep. Madeline Dean (PA-04)
Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05)
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06)
Rep. Susan Wild (PA-07)
Rep. David Cicilline (RI-01)
Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07)
Rep. Veronica Escobar (TX-16)
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)
Rep. Sylvia Garcia (TX-29)
Rep. Elaine Luria (VA-02)
Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03)
Rep. Don McEachin (VA-04)
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07)
Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08)
Rep. Jennifer Wexton (VA-10)
Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11)
Rep. Gwen Moore (WI-04)

See all federal endorsements at nowpac.org/federal2020.


Since 1977, the National Organization for Women Political Action Committee (NOW PAC) has worked to elect more uncompromising feminists to the White House and Congress. NOW PAC’s aggressive grassroots organizing and early support for feminist candidates have been changing the faces of those elected to federal office

NOW PAC only raises money from NOW members, so our political work is 100% grassroots.

California NOW Voter Guide

Class of 2020 Federal and State Endorsements

Click the link below for a list of Candidate Endorsements

Class of 2020 Endorsements

Honoring African American Feminists Throughout History

Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt and Vice President Christian F. Nunes

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Each February, the National Organization for Women commemorates Black History Month to honor the lives of African Americans who have shaped our nation and its culture. Our country and our communities would not be the same without the efforts of people of color, who work tirelessly in the face of oppression.African American women have been fierce advocates for gender equality for centuries, from suffragists Anna Julia Cooper and the founders of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority to civil rights leaders Ida B. Wells and Sojourner Truth. In more recent years we’ve witnessed history as Nevada State Senator Pat Spearman kicked off the modern Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) movement and Virginia Delegates Jennifer D. Carroll Foy and Hala Ayala championed the ERA in Virginia, which just became the historic 38th state to ratify.

Thanks to these women and many others, progress has been made, but we must never underestimate the insidious racism that continues to plague our country in the form of discrimination in employment, health care, housing, the justice system and voting rights. That is why NOW is co-hosting our Racial Justice Summit with U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) on Feb.10th, which aims to create conversation about the intersection of gender, health, economics, violence and race.

Black History Month highlights the importance of intersectional feminism. Black lesbian civil rights activist and feminist Audre Lorde famously said, “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are different from my own.” As firm believers of this approach to advocacy, NOW is committed to breaking down the barriers to gender and racial equality that have restricted women of color for centuries.

Contra Costa NOW Members at the Women’s March 2020

Contra Costa NOW members at the Women’s March 2020

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